Development Ministers From G8, Emerging Donor Countries Pledge To Bolster Efforts To Meet MDGs
Development ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations and some emerging donor countries on Sunday in Tokyo pledged to bolster efforts to meet key targets in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals -- which include curbing the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria -- AFP/Yahoo! News reports. The talks took place during the second day of meetings between development ministers from the G8 and emerging donor countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea (Hasegawa, AFP/Yahoo! News, 4/6).
German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said the goal of the talks is to "have a common understanding about the question of standards for investment and regulations." She added, "The goal always has to remain that everybody is devoted" to the MDGs. Alain Joyandet, France's junior cooperation minister, said that new aid from emerging donors is "at the same time a hope and a difficulty." Although it is positive that new donors that received aid in the past now want to provide it to other countries, these donors should follow international guidelines on awarding aid, Joyandet said. Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said the G8 agreed on the need for "concrete cooperation with emerging donors." Other officials said G8 countries hope to see more transparency in aid policies by new donors, as well as efforts to encourage good governance, sustainability and democratization (AFP/INO News, 4/6).
Delegates at the meeting also discussed figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that measured a decline in development assistance from G8 countries in 2007, Reuters reports (Nishikawa, Reuters, 4/6). According to AFP/INO News, G8 countries expressed concern over the figures and pledged to meet African aid commitments made at a 2005 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland. Other issues discussed included poverty reduction, climate change, food shortages and education, AFP/INO News reports. "Each G8 country is determined to strengthen development aid," Komura said. He added that in order to improve the situation in the fields of poverty, health care, education and clean water in developing countries, the "G8 needs to continue strengthening development aid both in quality and quantity" (AFP/INO News, 4/6).